Existence of God and Darwin

Dear All,

Thank you for your patience, specially Mirza Sahib who very graciously bears the brunt.
Babar

On Thursday, August 27, 2015, Syed Ehtisham <syedmae@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear BabarMustafa Sahib,

Very good exposition.
As far knowledge, Aristotle (may have been Socrates) believed women had fewer teeth than men do. As one wit remarked, why did he not bother counting his wife’s teeth. Another thought he was scared of having a part of his finger taken off.
On Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 3:33 PM, Mirza Ashraf <mirzashraf@hotmail.com> wrote:

Babar Sahib, your explanation is all about evolution after creation took place. I believe that finally, Dr. Ehtisham Sahib has sent a short and appealing answer and I am thankful to him that he has understood what I am looking for:

Evolution does not comment on creation.

Science does not say creation was chance.
Science has not come to a definite conclusion on the matter yet; it is still in the speculative phase.

Scientists do not know the source of first creation. Evolution started when cells appeared: from where, scientists know, but why and who created these cells–not essentially God, maybe by a Chance as Darwin believed, and maybe we still have to find out. Since you know that I am a believer, so you get detracted and start involving theological as well as scientific courses of evolution. Please during my discussion with you as well as other friends, do not think that I am going to convince you to believe in God–a belief which is so personal that no one knows the inner story of one’s heart. It is so simple that there is some one who sows a seed before it sprouts and grows up as a tree. So please find scientifically who sows the seed–again not essentially God–scientific reason is still trying to find out the source that caused the seed which sprouted to become a whole creation.

Mirza


Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:03:55 -0400
Subject: Re: Existence of God and Darwin
From: bbrmustafa@gmail.com
To: mirzashraf@hotmail.com
CC: syedmae@gmail.com; wequar.azeem@gmail.com; editors@thinkersforumusablog.org; salikain@yahoo.com

Dear Mirza Sahib,

The short and plain answer is NO –  if the question is plain and simple. But it isn’t.
The question is either deliberately so constructed that to answer it one must agree with assumptions in the question
or “by chance” the choice of words is such that it appears implying ulterior motive.
I’ll explain it; you begin your question with “Creation”….according to evolutionary science! Now from evolutionary science
I take it pertaining to evolution and specifically of living beings…..living beings that already are alive and exist. Ehitesham Sahib also stated the same that I had pointed out earlier that when we talk about evolution we are not talking about origin
of life and this evolution hits adversely on religion because it implies that man was not specially created, turn-key ready without having descended from parents.
How do you compare “chance” to an abstract entity God? This comparison is not valid. Chance is not abstract, it is clear
cut chance as opposed to implementation of a plan, a blue print. A chicken crosses a busy highway and it can get hit or
pass through without getting hit, that is chance. On the other hand the abstract God is supposed to have it created not
to get hit but get slaughtered to feed man and to lay more eggs and to reproduce more chicks – for man should not go
hungry.
I know, or I suspect, that your real intent is to hit at evolution by chance but you divert focus on creation instead. You are
probably thinking how man, the marvel, could be a product of evolution by chance. you (theologians) can’t wrap your head
around the idea that chances could in fact produce human from an atom of hydrogen. I give you that it is unbelievable but
if we trace the past with the knowledge of science, this marvelous life becomes plausible but what remains implausible is
the faith based narrative. How atom bonds with another to make a molecule is not chance, it has to do with the available electron to bond in the outer shells of two atoms, how carbon becomes the base for long chains of molecules is also
explainable but how do you explain floods connection with homosexuality?
Origin of life is also becoming clearer and it can be hoped that we will get to its details too. It wasn’t so when Darwin presented his theory and he had not even the information that I have now (pardon my comparison of self with Darwin
but it is to show that there is no comparison). He was talking about evolution when there was no knowledge of either genes
or atoms (He published his book 150 years ago in mid 1800s, Bohr and Mendel (atom and genes respectively)
appear in the early 1900s, Crick & Watson discover DNA structure the year of my birth in 1953. What my point is that what seems like a mere chance, the moment of creation, is not a chance but evolution of a living cell which took 3.5 billion years
to emerge. There was no bolt of lightening that kick started life (I am coming from reading some books on it) which Darwin
was speculating. Cells were forming and dissipating, forces of subatomic nature were at work, although two elements
combined (for example) by chance but resulting molecule was following rigid requirements of bonding.
I don’t want to go on and on, but there are tons of books on particle physics, microbiology etc.and if interested one can go into as much detail as one can comprehend and what seems abstract can become vivid, but God, nothing other than just
belief.
I apologize for stretching it too long.
Babar
On Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 10:44 AM, Mirza Ashraf <mirzashraf@hotmail.com> wrote:

In fact my question is simple that relates to the root of creation. But the answers I am getting are comparison between the evolutionary science and religion, between God and no God hypothesis Again my basic question–to be short–is as here:

Creation according to evolutionary science is just by CHANCE. Has science or the exponent of evolution ever proved the scientific ways of CHANCE. Isn’t CHANCE as abstract as the belief of a theologian of abstract God. Please help me in my search that: How come scientific reasoning believe in creation by abstract CHANCE without providing sufficient evidence, which is the core of science and reasoning.

With due respect please avoid writing all about religious beliefs and take it as out of my basic question here.

MIRZA ASHRAF


Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:38:55 -0400
Subject: Existence of God and Darwin
From: syedmae@gmail.com
To: wequar.azeem@gmail.com; mirzashraf@hotmail.com; editors@thinkersforumusablog.org

Dear Friends,

Darwin is the biggest name in the context of Evolution vs Creation, that is if human and other species evolved from less complex entities, rather than being created as such by God or a synonymous being. He, for perhaps societal reasons, stopped short of being a declared atheist.
But he did not write on the existence or otherwise of God, and may not be quoted as an authority on the subject.
For an intelligent and well informed person, the choice is between being an atheist, agnostic or a believer.
Belief is not entirely rational, as believers accept the unknown; they call it unknowable, but in essence it is a reflection of the fear of the unknown.
Atheism, in a sense, is like a belief, stating that God does not and can not exist.
Agnosticism, on the other hand, states that to date there is no rational support of the idea that God exists, but over the time human consciousness developed, a lot of concepts changed and as knowledge enhances, they will keep on changing.
After all, the concept of disease, structure of atom and so on have changed radically over a not too long a period of time.
      “Arguments for God’s existence:
      Plato and Aristotle-Plato spoke of mythical terms like goodness of god, but later in ‘Laws’ averred that “some change must be due to perfect soul…god is beyond being or knowledge” Aristotle called him unmoved mover (81).
      Causal argument- a priori St Thomas Aquinas spoke of five major proofs, complete transcendence (after Plotinus), all movement implies unmoved mover, efficient cause, and to avoid infinite regression, who then made god-first cause beyond causal sequence (82).  This got them into arguments. Why should God be immune to regress?  There is no reason to endow the terminator with omnipotence, omniscience and presence and human attributes such as listening to prayer and forgiving sin.
      There has to be a maximum of goodness to set standards for perfection- that is God
      Teleological-
Nothing can look designed unless it is designed… living things look designed, so the designer is God.  83
            -A posteriori- St Anselm Canterbury 1078 initially addressed a prayer to God as though to convince him. A being that does not exist in the real world is by the very fact less than perfect. We have a contradiction so God exists.
       Ontological-
       St Anslem, 11th CAD, Rene Descartes mid 17th CAD, the very idea of God implies his existence (84). Can man think of anything more perfect? Critics like Gaunilo, a monk contemporary of St Anslem and Immanuel Kant fastened on to the weakness of the argument that existence was not a predicator like color or shape.
        Epistemological argument/problem: How can man’s essentially finite mind comprehend anything pertaining to an infinite and eternal.
        Authority of a book, doctrine or an institution requires initial justification. Alternative is religious experience, which is sometimes understood as paranormal phenomenon-voices, visions, or some psychical state. How the experience should be recognized? Men do not know each other’s mind, they are aware only of mediated behavior, so how can man may know god?
         God in modern thought:
         Prominence is given to high ethical teaching and character of saints and prophets. Psychology and anthropology, called in to aid the disciplines, are generally hostile and do not accept the premise the high ethical teaching necessarily  led to saintly character .
        -Humanism and transcendence:
        The very idea of god emanates from man’s needs for succor and comfort. God created in man’s image and proclivity to personify natural objects like rivers, trees and deserts and to confer peculiar qualities on them, leading in time to super being. (85). Rudolf Otto found evidence in early religion of the wholly other (86).
         Finite god-
        To explain evil, world under direction of a superior being who is, however, limited and has not yet been able to subdue evil powers, though hopefully will be able to eventually. Should he, in that case, be worshiped?
         Advocates of finite god in 20th Century AD, William James and Ralph Barton-Berry, Charles Hartshorne and Schubert developed the ideas of metaphysician, A.N. Whitehead (87). God is in the process of fulfillment in some kind of identification with the world though distinct from the universe, which he permeates. This is full of paradoxes.
         Theism in Islam owes much to Semitic outlook; transcendent personal deity but incarnation rejected as blasphemy, though tendency to identify man with God does exist in Sufi mysticism.
         Theism in Eastern Thought-Radhakrishnan-early Vedic hymn has the sense of the “Wonder of existence, the outpouring of poetic mind struck by the immensity of the universe…mystery of life” (88). There is also henotheism exalting several deities to first place. Upanishad theme is of one supreme reality, but no distinctiveness of finite things, not of eternal self-involved in the world in a personal way. Theistic note is there in Bhakti devotion to a personal god. Bhagvad Gita (3-4 BC) is more theistic-love of god-love of god for man and of man for god, reflected in 20th CAD devotional songs of Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo, of indwelling of the divine in the world (89).
          Buddhism: Theravada’s apparent negativism reflects caution on profound recognition of the elusiveness of the transcendent. Adoration of Buddha and Bodhisattvas (on the way to enlightenment)…ranges to religious responses of overt theism (90).
        Other religions
        Confucian-a power from beyond the world working for justice within it, intensified with conflation from entry of Buddhism in China (91).
        Sikhism stresses personal awareness of god as a central and unifying factor (92).
        Jainism is non-theistic in theory. But great figures function as gods in popular practice.
        Zoroastrianism: Ahura Mazda creator limited for a time by the evil Ahriman (93)”.

 

One thought on “Existence of God and Darwin

  1. My discussion with Babar Sahib, Wequar Sahib, and Dr. Ehtisham Sahib started on the basis of following point by Darwin which I quote here:

    Darwin himself was skeptic of his theory, as recounting in his Autobiography (1876) regarding the development of his religious views that, he was still impressed by, “the extreme difficulty, or rather impossibility, of conceiving the immense and wonderful universe, including man … as the result of BLIND CHANCE or necessity. When thus reflecting, I feel compelled to look to a FIRST CAUSE having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man, and I deserve to be called a Theist. … [But then] , arises the doubt that can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusion.”

    So my concern was how scientific reasoning of modern age has or can explain that creation by “BLIND CHANCE”–which itself was an unexplained concept for Darwin–can justify that life appeared on this planet without a First Cause. Please do not bring God or religion as a part of this discussion; confine it to pure scientific reasoning. MIRZA ASHRAF

Comments are closed.